Reel TV | Mad Men

29 07 2008


Every September, we undergo a annual ritual to select several shows that we’ll follow through their maiden season. This year we didn’t have to wait until September to find one of the best shows on television, the instant classic, AMC’s “Mad Men.”

What initially attracted us to the show was “The Sopranos” former writer/producer Matthew Weiner’s involvement with the show. The executive producer and writer of several episodes, Weiner’s show has the strong dark storytelling rhythms that marked some of the best work on “The Sopranos” that mimics many of the more likable characteristics of that show.

Instead of a mobster living a dual life, you have a creative director, Don Draper (John Hamm), who balances his successful career with a rocky marriage. Set in New York City, “Mad Men” takes place in the 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City’s Madison Avenue and centers on Draper, a high-level advertising executive, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.


They Protect You, They Listen…
Don and Rachel romance on the rooftop.

Under Weiner’s direction, “Mad Men” is a virtual snapshot of the long-forgotten period with no detail spared. From the elegant fashion that all of the characters wear, the technology of the period and the rampant drinking, smoking and office hanky-panky, “Mad Men” is an antiquated throwback of the “boys will be boys” days of business.

While Hamm is the show’s protagonist, its sexy erotic center is office manager, Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks). Holloway acts as a professional and social mentor, as well as a rival, to Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) the former secretary turned junior copywriter. Joan relishes playing the role of a femme fatale and was engaged in an affair with one of the firm’s partners, Roger Sterling before his heart attack. In addition with supplying her character with steamy hot sexuality, she also has the brains to manipulate those around her to get what she wants and the men are thankful to give it to her!


The Meaner You Are, The More I Like You
Joan and Paul reconnect on election night.

Critically acclaimed, winner of two Golden Globe Awards and nominated for a boatload of Emmy Awards, “Mad Men” immediately fills the hollow void of the television wasteland giving it’s audience another reason to believe in the power of TV. Believe it or not, both HBO and Showtime passed on the show before it found a home on AMC. In this case, one networks trash truly became another network’s treasure.

The show kicked off its second season last night with a familiar opening collage of characters designed to bring the audience up-to-date. It was exactly the same device employed by another successful show, “The Sopranos” to kick-off its second season. While it is unknown if Weiner can keep us interested in Draper and the world of Sterling Cooper for several more seasons, we trust that even if he can’t Weiner has given us such a strong foundation that we’re sure we’ll hang around just to see him try. In the process, Weiner’s series will make Hamm as large a star as David Chase did for James Gandolfini.


You Think You’re Being Helpful
Peggy finally realizes that she and Joan aren’t even playing in the same league.

One of the best scenes of the first season took place in the season finale entitled, “The Wheel.” Draper, who has had two affairs and lost interest in his disconnected wife, rediscovers his love for her while pitching a campaign to Kodak for their new slide projector. Watch the scene carefully and check out his expressions as the scene evolves. Very sentimental and effective, it will make you think about that special someone in your life by the time the scene concludes.


The Carousel

Mad Men” airs on Sunday nights at 10pm on AMC.

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2 responses

29 07 2008
Reel TV - Mad Men

[…] draiken78 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptDraper, who has had two affairs and lost interest in his disconnected wife, rediscovers his love for her while pitching a campaign to Kodak for their new slide projector. Watch the scene carefully and check out his expressions as the … […]

29 07 2008
Reel TV - Mad Men | Something about Everything

[…] Click to read more… […]

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